Graphic by Rebecca Shapiro

How do you explain divorce to a young child? How do you prepare them for a life without a parent? How do you survive without a living parent who doesn’t belong to you anymore? How do you stand on your own when you have no one to teach you? How do you live a life, knowing that your father is out there somewhere, happy, smiling, in love…just not with you? How do you go from being a daddy’s girl to being the child of a single parent…and the parent whom you prefer is gone? This is how: you take the little bit of love that you got, the little bit of normal that you received, and you draw from it to stay sane in a world which has mistreated you. In a world which is unfair, and often cruel. You take those memories and you make them your lifeline. I think that’s what I did. I think that is what I am doing.  

I should have loved you while I could

I should have known and understood

That there was not so much time

When I was yours and you were mine

But I was only just a child

I was fun, crazy, and wild

I had a mother and father

It was all you, I saw no other

Holding on to your large hand

We traveled to a Promised Land

I felt safe in your embrace

As I kissed your stubbly face

Those adventures and great trips

Keep my heart from getting ripped

Somehow all that little time

Keeps me sane: live not die

Although I feel like life might end

The love you gave me helps me mend

You were the greatest Papa yet

You are the best thing that I get

Time has flown, now it’s been years

Lots of screams, and breaks, and tears

Tears I had to cry alone

Because without you I’m not home

Every child needs that shoulder

To climb, and cry on when they’re older

Yours were so big and kind and strong

You made me feel like I belonged

And maybe it’s this piece of time

That I now pass down to my kind

As each of my children I hold

I channel you, as tales be told

I keep our memories in a place

Deep in my heart, can’t be erased

I go in there and I take

A little bit, so I don’t break

I think the time that we had

The time when you were my great dad

Is what strengthens me today

Holding a heart about to fray

Thank you for those great 8 years

Thanks for wiping all my tears

Thank you, Thank you, I love you

To you, Papa, I will stay true

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Goldie Young is a teacher, author, mother, and wife. She lives in New York with her husband and 3 beautiful children. Goldie can be reached at Follow her on her adventures of life and style on Instagram @goldieyounglifeandstyle.